Former Forfar midfielder Lewis Milne knows exactly what it feels like to be top of League Two come January…but the ex-Cowdenbeath man also has the very real memory of losing out on the title come May. This season, he wants to make sure the Gable Endies are crowned League Two’s top dog.
The former Dunfermline Athletic youth player made an instant impact in his first start for the club, scoring the only goal of the game last weekend against Annan.
“I went in and signed on the Tuesday [2nd January 2018] – I managed to get registered as a trialist for the game that day against Cowdenbeath as I had only just signed all my forms and the paperwork so it hadn’t been processed in time for me to officially play. I came on for about 20-25 minutes and done okay…I obviously done to earn a start last Saturday. I know a lot of the boys at Montrose and I have heard a lot of good things about the manager; since I have been in, it seems like a really nice, well-run club. I feel like I am in a team, everyone is really, really, close and I feel as if I am going to enjoy my time here.
I managed to score straight away which was great for the team but also great for me as it gives me that little boost in confidence: it is good for a midfielder or a striker to be chasing that first goal so to get it out of the way instantly was brilliant. We needed that win too, however, after two disappointing results prior to that, considering we are top of the league – to get back to winning ways was massive for us, especially when we were away to Annan who hadn’t lost in 10 games I think it is, so the whole day last week was just brilliant. This shows the kind of team I have joined and the direction we are going in; our eyes are firmly set on that league title.”
How vital were the three points for the Gable Endies, in the context of the full season?
“The gaffer [Stewart Petrie] told us that before the match, alongside the assistant, Ross [Campbell]; they stressed how much we needed a win to get back our confidence and to make sure we keep that top position. All we need to do is keep winning, Peterhead have a couple of games in hand but there is no guarantee they will win, so we just need to continue doing our jobs and it means they will have to chase us. There is never an easy game, to be fair. Every match at this stage of the season is like the World Cup Final for both sides: clubs are fighting for relegation, clubs are fighting for the play-off places and promotion…Edinburgh City have obviously come into a bit of form, but, when you look around our changing room, we know we have enough quality there to defeat any team in this league on our day.
We need to take the confidence of winning on Saturday into today’s match; I’ve been in a few play-off games as well s winning the league with Cowdenbeath, but, I was also in a very similar situation to Montrose just now with Forfar last season: I feel I can take that experience into the remainder of this campaign. There are plenty players in our dressing room who can say the same… Martyn Fotheringham was at Forfar last year as well, for example, and we need to use our experiences to help us out. We know what it is like to win the league, but, we also know what it is like to lose the league in the dying stages. Even if it does come to that, we have experience in the play-offs, but, ultimately we all want to get that winners medal and lift that trophy.”